Motley Fool’s Anders Bylund speculates that the Novell-Microsoft deal was some kind of divide and conquer strategy by Microsoft.
Perhaps Microsoft wanted to create a rift in the Linux community? If so, the plan is working perfectly at present. A long-awaited update to the General Public License (GPL) that governs the use of Linux kernel code, the vital support programs forming the rest of the operating system, and thousands of other open-source projects, just reached its third draft, with new language very specifically aimed at breaking up the Novell-Microsoft pact….
Microsoft might or might not have had defensive plans, but the whole affair turned into an offensive play regardless. It’s working out very well for the company, to the point where the legal indemnification entendre starts to sound far-fetched by comparison. Maybe this was the plan all along — a “divide and conquer” strategy based on a few huge egos clashing. Brilliant, if true.
I think Microsoft is in the deal for a bit more than tearing apart the Linux community. Bylund alludes that Novell holds rights to Unix System V. Microsoft probably wants the right to use to that code now that SCO most likely can’t provide it to them.